The Nurse and the Brownie: Margaret and Seana Tapp

kergulen

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Courtesy of the article i put on Wikipedia:

Margaret Tapp, a 35-year-old nurse, and her nine-year-old daughter, Seana Tapp, were murdered on 7 August 1984 when an unknown assailant broke into their home in Ferntree Gully, a suburb of Melbourne, in the Australian state ofVictoria.[1] The assailant strangled Margaret to death before going on to kill Seana. Semen was found on Seana's nightdress; police stated that she had been sexually assaulted.[1] Both had been strangled with rope.[2] Several suspects were subsequently cleared by DNA testing.[1] In 2015 investigators reopened the case in a cold case review.[3]
 

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kergulen

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I think the real target was little Seana as she was raped and Margaret wasn't. It's often left out but Seana was intelligent - most kids her age are in grade 3 but she'd been skipped ahead to grade 4 at Wattle View PS.
 

kergulen

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The DNA got contaminated didn't it, that's why the 2008 prosecution had to be dropped?

Seana and Margaret's friends think of them whenever they pass Ferntree Gully cemetery, apparently.

Seana was so young, she had yet to graduate from Brownies to Girl Guides. By all accounts, the fallout in Seana's Brownies troop was devastating and horrible.
 

shellyg

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The DNA got contaminated didn't it, that's why the 2008 prosecution had to be dropped?

Seana and Margaret's friends think of them whenever they pass Ferntree Gully cemetery, apparently.

Seana was so young, she had yet to graduate from Brownies to Girl Guides. By all accounts, the fallout in Seana's Brownies troop was devastating and horrible.
There was a prosecution? I didnt read about that ... do you have a link please?
 

kergulen

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From ABC Stateline....

Transcript

DNA-based court cases thrown into doubt by mistaken murder charge

Broadcast: 08/08/2008

KATHY BOWLEN, PRESENTER: Today's (08/08/'08) the 24th anniversary of the tragic murders of Melbourne mother and daughter Margaret and Seana Tapp. It's a case Victoria police thought they'd finally solved after over more than two decades. But the crucial DNA evidence that led to charges being laid and then withdrawn has revealed serious issues in the use of DNA as an investigative tool.

Cheryl Hall reports.

JACK JACOBS, FORMER DETECTIVE: Walking into the house, it appeared normal from the front door, but then walking into the bedrooms and seeing the two deceased in their separate rooms as if they were asleep in bed, but realising that they weren't asleep. It was devastating.

CHERYL HALL, REPORTER: The murders of Margaret Tapp and her daughter Seana shocked Victoria in 1984. Even the most hardened homicide detectives were affected.
 

kergulen

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@shellyg I listened to the Herald Sun's true crime podcast on the Tapp murders. I wonder what would have happened had the Bomfords called the police when they heard the muffled scream.

Also, is it known if Seana was killed elsewhere in the house and her body carried back to her bed? If Margaret was attacked first, wouldn't Seana have heard the commotion and come out from her bedroom to see what was happening?

wearing a nightgown/nightdress makes a little girl or woman more vulnerable to sexual violence then pajama trousers. Not that pajamas rather than a nightdress would have saved Seana but every moment of delay hindering the killer would have helped in leaving evidence or catching him through him making mistakes
 

shellyg

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@shellyg I listened to the Herald Sun's true crime podcast on the Tapp murders. I wonder what would have happened had the Bomfords called the police when they heard the muffled scream.

Also, is it known if Seana was killed elsewhere in the house and her body carried back to her bed? If Margaret was attacked first, wouldn't Seana have heard the commotion and come out from her bedroom to see what was happening?

wearing a nightgown/nightdress makes a little girl or woman more vulnerable to sexual violence then pajama trousers. Not that pajamas rather than a nightdress would have saved Seana but every moment of delay hindering the killer would have helped in leaving evidence or catching him through him making mistakes
I might listen to that pod again, think there are some things in it I might have missed for distractions.
 

kergulen

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I might listen to that pod again, think there are some things in it I might have missed for distractions.
One of the suspects being a bent cop is interesting. As Andrew Rule, the Herald Sun journo said, this guy was allowed into 13 Kelvin Drive by the homicide squad under what Rule refers to as "The Old Mates Act" and who knows what evidence this guy removed/destroyed?
 

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kergulen

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The temporal perspective really hits you. For those of us who grew up In Melbourne's outer east, it still feels like yesterday... but then you remember that when Margaret and Seana were killed, there was still a "Sun" paper in the morning and a "Herald" in the afternoon. There wouldn't be a merged "Herald Sun" for over six years.

I think Seana was the intended victim. The attack on her was so much more brutal and sexual.

people could - and should - do more so that the vicious sexual assault and murder of Seana Tapp is as well known to Australians as the vicious sexual assault and murder of Sheree Beasley.
I've never figured out why Sheree stuck in people's memories and Seana did not.

Part of me wants to say it's because Seana didn't have an image of her little pink bike with the Coca Cola bottle still in the bike's basket plastered all over the media.
 

kergulen

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The hairs found on Seana's nightdress and bedclothes were dyed brown with grey roots, indicating that the killer was already getting fairly old in 1984. It's not looking good for justice as 35 long years later, he's either in extreme old age, or dead.
 

kergulen

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True Crime Sisters hit the nail when they said "There are many ridiculous reasons for targeting Margaret Tapp.. but, why Seana? And, why was Seana sexually assaulted?"
 

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